A Guide to Popular Printing Techniques

24 May

A Guide to Popular Printing Techniques

Printing techniques have evolved while others have withstood the test of time to serve their purpose. Certain popular techniques have been modified to achieve the desired products of the users while other techniques have remained the way they have been for centuries. Whatever the case, there are popular printing techniques that are used worldwide by designers to solve problems and create visual materials.

The quality of the printing services is usually among the priorities when choosing a printing technique. The allure of whatever printing technique lays on the intended design that is to be achieved.

Color management set

A choice of a printing technique depends on the following factors:

  • The cost of the technique
  • Speed of printing
  • Desired effects
  • Number of prints produced (volume)
  • Accuracy of the technique
  • Ability to print on a variety of surfaces
  • Uniqueness of the design
  • Printing techniques

Printing techniques can be classified either into ancient or modern techniques. Although very old, some of these printing techniques are still popular in today’s printing world. These techniques include the following:

1. Woodblock printing that involves carving an image in reverse into a piece of wood that is inked up, and then the paper is pressed down on top of it to transfer the ink into the image.

2. Letterpress printing that is a technique of relief printing using a printing practice. Modern printing techniques have revolutionized the world of printing. These methods include the following:

Laser printing; this involves the use of laser beam to achieve quality designs.

Offset lithography; this technique uses a huge number of designs.

Embossing and debossing; these are similar processes that create different results. Both processes involve making a counter and a metal plate. Embossing creates a raised impression on paperwork while debossing creates a depressed impression. While using this method, you should have in mind that embossing or debossing is a mechanical process that has an impact on the paper stock and consequently on the design. You should also leave space between the letters because they might merge if you put them too close to each other.

Varnish; a liquid coating applied to a printed surface to add a clear, glossy, satin, matte or neutral finish.

Thermography; this printing technique produces raised printers similar in appearance to engraving but using a slightly different process to achieve this effect.

Digital printing; this technique is a faster way of printing that is more efficient. This printing technique uses tone rather than ink and is the most accessible.

Silk lamination; this technique provides a silk finish that is also tear and water resistant. It is ideal for brightly colored designs.

Inkjet which is a common household printing solution.

Silkscreen is a technique that involves using ink-blocking stencils to print on a woven mesh.

Engraving which is notably the most expensive printing technique and also time-consuming.

Other printing techniques include die cut and foil.

It is important to know what you can do with printed materials to select the best possible material and processes for the design. Printing designs are used for various purposes such as wedding invitations, business cards, newspapers, posters, brochures, books, product labeling, packaging, and magazines.

It is important to select the appropriate printer to achieve the desired designs. The variable printing techniques, some unique and others simple, should be used to the advantage of the designer. A designer has a variety of techniques to pick from thus expertise is required to get the desired design.

The design and the product should be of good quality. Seek advice from printing experts if you are not sure of the particular printing technique you want to use.


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